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Wind turbine project hangs in the breeze

A joint wind turbine project in the Cambridge area is still hanging in the breeze.

Earlier this year, Cambridge, Henry County and the Cambridge school district announced plans to consider a shared turbine.

No meetings have been held between the three entities, though, and none have been scheduled yet.

Village trustee Jim Crouch said Cambridge has been busy with other projects, including Prospect Street construction, but he’s ready to see the first step take place.

That would involve bringing in someone to evaluate whether combined electric usage of the village, school district and county is enough to warrant a smaller turbine.

The turbine would not provide energy for residential properties; instead, it would power schools, governmental buildings and street lights.

Superintendent Steve Fink said the school district is interested in talking about the project.

“Hopefully we can get going this fall,” he said.

County board member Jan May of Kewanee said she is interested in the project because she had been involved with the initial wind turbine effort at Hillcrest Home.

If Hillcrest Home does not end up getting a tower through British Petroleum’s wind farm, she would like to see a tower there from another source.

“I don’t know what (the school and village) have in mind,” she said. “I just thought, for me, it was a good learning opportunity. I’m interested in wind power and wind energy and renewable energy, and for me this is a good fit.”

Ms. May will represent the county on the committee along with two other board members – Jim King of Geneseo and Pat Ripperger of Alpha – and county administrator Dick Erickson.

Mr. Erickson said the county would like to have wind energy for the courthouse and jail complex, and possibly the highway department.

He said it may or may not be feasible to include Hillcrest Home. “We’re not sure about the distance.”

Quad-Cities Online

22 October 2007